The ANC is sending out andidates against its former councillors in by-elections in the Free State on Wednesday, along with a little-known but colourfully named party. The Heavenly Economic and Political Freedom Programme (HEPFP) is one of six political parties contesting the by-elections in the debt-ridden Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality, which encompasses the towns of Phuthaditjhaba‚ Harrismith and Kestell, as well as QwaQwa’s rural areas.
In the by-elections, 15 seats are vacant, and theexpelling councillors from the party for rebelling against the provincial executive committee by voting to elect Gilbert Mokotso as the mayor of Maluti. It should be noted that Mokotso is among the recalled candidates and is now standing as an independent. Candidates are also being fielded by the ANC, EFF, DA, ACM and ATM.
Patrick Sentimile, founder and leader of HEPFP is the lone candidate representing his party in the elections. He revealed that his party could not place candidates in all 15 wards in Wednesday’s by-elections because HEPFP was financially unstable.
Sentimile revealed that he broke away from the EFF in 2014, after the national elections, and formed his party. He said he first named it New Economic Freedom Fighters, but this name could not be registered with the electoral commission because it closely resembled that of the EFF. H also said his party’s visions was sharing wealth among the poor.
Even though Sentimile cast his vote on Wednesday, he said the party had launched an objection to the by-elections with the Electoral Commission on Monday, because the voters’ roll contained names of people who did not reside in the wards concerned.